Whitman County records first flu-related death of season

Case rate higher than previous season; CDC recommends vaccine

ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE, Life editor

An individual from Whitman County died during the first week of January after experiencing complications from influenza, according to a Whitman County Public Health press release. 

The adult tested positive for influenza A and negative for COVID-19, according to the press release.

In the 2020-21 flu season, influenza cases and deaths were historically low. However, the health department has seen a higher case rate since November 2021 than the previous season, according to the press release. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone six months or older get an annual flu vaccine, according to the press release. Vaccination can help prevent the flu and keep symptoms mild.

The flu is most common between late fall and early spring. Cases usually peak in January and February, according to the press release.

People who experience symptoms and feel sick should call before going to urgent care or the doctor to avoid exposing other people, according to the press release. 

Information about influenza cases can be found on the Washington State Department of Health website.